Church Link News: March 2014
Welcome to the March edition of the Church Link News. This can be read in addition to our General Alabaré E-news. This is our opportunity to share our Christian thoughts and values, and to celebrate the work of our staff and volunteers. If you have anything that you would like to see in the next edition or something that you would like to contribute please make contact.
A Word from Our Barnabas House Chaplain
The Lenten story is one that we share with each other, whether it is with the younger members of our church or in reminding ourselves about the true meaning. We attentively mark every year to honour the sacrifice and gift that Jesus gave us. Yet as many things in life it becomes routine the true reflection of that gift is forgotten.
Regardless of how much we think we’re worth, we should take great comfort in knowing that he paid the ultimate price for us.
We rush out to buy our pancake ingredients and forget it is time to use up those rich foods in preparation for fasting: to shrive, confess and make ready for forty days of reflection that mirror the forty days and nights that Jesus walked the desert spurning temptation.
Ash Wednesday services are often missed out entirely as they are inconvenient around the working day – children scrub off the ashes from their heads as quickly as they can as we scrub away the intentions of our Lenten promises. "Repent, and believe in the Gospel"
From the 26th December until Easter Sunday shops are filled with chocolate eggs, hot crossed buns, and other treats, replacing the real meaning of Easter with a choc-fest that draws our attention towards indulgence.
Lent is a time when you can grow closer to Jesus. “Else how will you be fulfilled? How can your day really mean anything?” This is why as Christians we try to abstain from luxuries, look to adding to our spiritual devotions and strive to atone for the little sins and careless behaviours that we may fall in to.
As on Palm Sunday when Jesus triumphantly rode into Jerusalem we can join his disciples and lay palms at his feet honouring him as the Prince of Peace – “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”
Maundy Thursday and the Last Supper again lead us to understand the enormity of what is to happen to Jesus, and his acceptance to follow the course to his conclusion.
Good Friday is a poignant moment in the church calendar, the inevitable end of Lent where we mourn together Jesus’s sacrifice, and respectfully wait for his resurrection and our new life.
Approaching Easter we can take this time to consider who Jesus is to us? “I see him as someone who is strong and brave in his acceptance of God’s will.” We in our own small part can take the time to reflect through prayer and penance and in the hope that our actions will bring us fulfilment and meaning. This makes us ready to celebrate Christ’s return as he does this Easter day.
If you can make these forty days count – just be who you are. God has made you exactly who he wants you to be.
With that in mind, this Lent I’m going to sit up and Listen, and try to fulfil God’s will for me – by saying Yes!
Mo Wills, Alabaré Chaplain
Lent Promises from around Alabaré
Lent Promises from around Alabaré
- Do the stations of the cross every Friday...
- Given up chocolate bars...
- Given up alcohol & sweets...
- Take up hula-hooping...
Do you have a promise you'd like to share? Get in touch and let us know!
Prayer of Abandonment
This is a prayer that helps me to remember to abandon my own will and to truly become open to the God the Father. I say this at the beginning of the day to devote my day to him. Mo Wills, Chaplain
I abandon myself into your hands; do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you:
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me, and in all your creatures.
I wish no more than this, O Lord.
Into your hands I commend my soul;
I offer it to you
With all the love of my heart,
For I love you, Lord,
And so need to give myself,
To surrender myself into your hands,
And with boundless confidence,
For you are my Father
Charles de Foucald
We are always looking for volunteers who would like to share some time with us each month. If you would like to help, please consider our volunteer vacancies.
Click here to find out more about Alabaré's chaplaincy roles, and how you can get involved.
Here are some April dates for your diary;
- 6th April – 6th Sunday of Lent
- 13th April – Palm Sunday
- 17th April – Maundy Thursday
- 18th April – Good Friday
- 20th April – Easter Sunday